Jeff Stein at CQ reports on the DHS angle of the recent revelations about domestic NSA activities, and notes that DHS intelligence chief Charlie Allen will be discussing DHS’s interface with the NSA in a closed meeting on Tuesday and an open hearing on Wednesday. From the story:
When the National Security Agency assigned Bill Semenick to be its liaison to the Homeland Security Department three years ago, he found he didnâ€™t have a parking space, a desk or a secure computer link back to his Ft. Meade, Md., headquarters.
But about 18 months ago Semenick finally got a direct, secure link to NSAâ€™s computers from DHSâ€™ Nebraska Ave. complex, along with liaison officers from the two other Pentagon outfits that use satellites to keep track of the conversations and movements of people.
Now a congressional panel wants to know what kind of intelligence the NSA has been providing to the Homeland Security Department, and what itâ€™s been doing with it…
Allen, who arrived at DHS last September after four decades at the CIA, has few comfortable options when heâ€™s questioned by subcommittee members.
If heâ€™s been giving state and local police intelligence reports that he knows came from the NSAâ€™s warrantless wiretap programs, he may wish he was back at the CIA, which specializes in stealing information.
If he doesnâ€™t know where the NSA intelligence originated, he wonâ€™t look very careful.
If he tells panel members that he didnâ€™t get any intelligence from the NSAâ€™s wiretapping data, they may say, â€œWhat are you, chopped liver?â€
This should be an interesting hearing…I’ll post a follow-up after I track down and review his testimony and the hearing transcript.